Saturday, December 16, 2006

Malibuization & The Parkway

One of the examples we have always used to describe the kind of private ownership along the commons of the Parkway is that represented by Malibu and we described it thusly in our 2005 Report on our website:

“Private property owners are not to be faulted for wanting to build large homes or commercial buildings along the Parkway, as it offers some of the most beautiful development sites in our area. However, none of us wants to see the Parkway become Malibuized.” (p. 60)

Both sides can be seen here, and how it will work out in that area has been pretty well determined, the property owners will generally win.

Along our Parkway on the other hand, there has been built a strong ethos of keeping the commons open, keeping private property owner’s buildings from being part the visual skyline which Parkway users might see walking or biking along the river, which violates the essential ingredient of the Parkway experience, the sense of being in nature surrounded by urban/suburban life, but not being overwhelmed by it.

Privileged surroundings
Powerful open-space official fights Malibu as it restricts public access to Barbra Streisand's former estate
By Laura Mecoy - Bee Los Angeles Bureau
Published 12:00 am PST Saturday, December 16, 2006

Surrounded by the garden Barbra Streisand installed at her former estate, Brianna Cupido went nose to nose with a black-and-white bunny named Bandit.

"I like the whiskers," said the 14-year-old, a smile spreading across her face.

The dark-haired teen was among a class of special education students, one of the few remaining groups allowed to visit the estate Streisand donated to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in 1993.

The pop diva wanted the property to become an environmental "think tank." But the conservancy found the 22-acre estate didn't have the right facilities for a research institute and turned it into Ramirez Canyon Park instead.

The uproar that followed alienated Streisand, infuriated her former neighbors and launched a battle that continues today over how much access the public should have to Ramirez Canyon and other parks in this exclusive enclave by the sea.

"What they are really concerned about is an outside element coming into Malibu," said Joseph T. Edmiston, the conservancy's executive director. "There is a sense ... that if you own a $10 million house, you probably want to see walking in front of your house a person who owns a $10 million house who is your neighbor."